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Elma Glasgow wins national 'Radical Changemaker' museums award

Aspire Black Suffolk's founder and co-director, Elma Glasgow, won a national award at the Museums Association annual conference in Edinburgh on Thursday 3 November for her work in connecting communities with museums.

After being shortlisted alongside Zara Yeaman for the Hunterian's Curating Discomfort exhibition and Diana Foster for A Space for Us Museum in Camden, judges picked Elma for the 2022 Museums Change Lives 'Radical Changemaker' award for her community engagement activities in Suffolk.

A Black woman with curly hair in a pony tail. she stands in front of a big screen saying 'Radical Changemaker Award' holding a glass award. She wears a black top with a big gold star on the front.
Elma Glasgow with her award at the Museums Association Conference in Edinburgh on 3rd November 2022 (c) Museums Association.

The judges said: "Elma brought together over 30 partners to create and deliver Power of Stories – an ambitious touring exhibition and events programme celebrating African and Caribbean heritages in Suffolk. Elma’s drive to celebrate Black heritage in Suffolk has created opportunities for thousands of people to connect, understand, and explore previously exclude histories. Seeing the need for museums to change, Elma founded ‘Aspire Black Suffolk’, a C.I.C. which supports museums to connect and collaborate with local Black communities."

After being nominated by an employee at Ipswich Museums, Elma's award recognises and celebrates outstanding practice by UK museums delivering social impact. They promote the best examples of work by museums and individuals that support communities and engage with contemporary issues.

Elma won an award, a framed certificate, award and a cash prize of £500.

Two Black men dressed in black stand about 1-2 metres apart facing each other in front of the three Black Panther costumes,
Local Black men, Curtis (left) and Martell (right) at Power of Stories in Snape Maltings concert hall foyer, Suffolk (c) Devi Singh

To find out more about Elma's work, read up on Aspire Black Suffolk and the history of Power of Stories. The pioneering exhibition is at Snape Maltings until Sunday 19 February 2023. Entry is free.

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